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An Interview with Walker Lamond, author of "Rules For My Unborn Son"

I had heard about the book Rules for My Unborn Son by Walker Lamond through his agent, of all things. Karen is a Twitter friend of mine and the agent for common friends of ours. When she tweeted about Walker's book, I was intrigued. It turns out that he has a popular blog and a large Twitter following. It is easy to see why this is the case; his Rules make you think, and often, make you laugh. I plowed through the book in an evening and found myself smiling, nodding, and giggling at some of them. I knew this book would be a great fit for the Daily Grommet crowd.

Walker is a completely amicable guy and was kind enough to answer my questions.

I'm sorry that you lost your Dad at the age of twenty-two. It's great that you've decided to write down the truths that you learned from him in an effort to preserve them. Are these "rules" he specifically told you, or did he simply live them out?

Mostly my father taught through his own example. He was a great dancer, a spiffy dresser, and behaved himself at the ballpark. He wasn't really a disciplinarian, instead his advice came in practical asides, like if you forget your pocket square, the corner of a bed sheet does the trick. But it was his consistency that made me realize that he was living his life by a certain code or set of rules--essentially the things that he believed made a Good Man.

I love that you use the term "modern gentlemen." It speaks of the respect that all people love to be shown without any of the negative connotations that people seem to associate with the word chivalry. Did you coin it yourself, or is it something passed down from your Dad?

I just wanted to make sure people didn't think this was just instructions on which fork to eat with at a fancy dinner. The word gentleman can get a bum rap because people mistakenly associate it with some outmoded concept of chivalry -- throwing your cape over a puddle and all that. But really being a gentleman is so much more than minding your manners -- it's about being adventurous and hard-working and curious and most of all, taking responsibility for the quality of your life.

When you branched out beyond the rules passed down from your Dad, did you find it hard to come across other quotes to include?
No, plenty of the rules come from my own experiences -- the good, bad and the ugly. All I have to do is look at a photo of myself in college to be reminded of what NOT to do.

I know that the title of your book is "Rules For My Unborn Son," but I can testify that most of the quotes apply to people in general -- male or female. Did you make a conscious effort to include rules for everyone or did you just find that classic truths apply to both men and women alike?

Honestly, I really did write these rules specifically for my own future son. It's a highly subjective and non-scientific list. I think the fact that the rules speak to both girls and boys says more about how alike we are these days and how similar our standards are for men and women. That's a good thing.

How did the book come about? Was it something that you pursued, or were you approached because of your website?

I always thought this stuff might look good on a coffee table, but I did not start the project with the intention of publishing a book. After a few months of posting the material online, a couple lit agents found it and eventually some publishers too. Lucky me.

You're on Twitter (like most of the rest of the world). Is Twitter something you enjoy being a part of, or is it something you feel like you have to do as part of your career?

I still try to update my website with new material so Twitter is just another convenient way for people to access it. It's also a great way to promote book signings and share other fun news like where you can buy the book. I rarely twitter about what I had for dinner. But I do like meeting people who read the blog and learning about what they are into. It's a great resource for new ideas, not to mention shopping tips. Kind of like a huge cocktail party. To just be a wallflower and not take advantage of that would be just silly.

I literally laughed out loud at many of the rules in the book. The old saying, "It's funny because it's true" comes into play with the rules you've included. Do you have a single favorite rule that stands out above the rest?

I don't have a favorite but there are rules that some men just can't abide. I'm always getting emails from dudes in California saying things like, "What do you mean I can't jog shirtless?" And Brooklyn kids still defend their ironic facial hair, but they'll come around.

Thanks, Walker!

Today, we have a copy of Walker's book to give away.

General contest rules: To enter, you must be a U. S. resident, and at least 18 years of age and you must leave a comment or question for Walker. No purchase necessary. The winner will be randomly selected and will receive a copy of the book “Rules for My Unborn Son.” Employees, contractors, and the families of employees and contractors of Daily Grommet, Inc. are not eligible to enter. You are not eligible to win if you have received a prize or giveaway from Daily Grommet in the last six months. Void where prohibited. Contest will run from 9am EST through 10pm EST February 5, 2010.


  • Sarah Says:

    This sounds like a fun read. I have a 1 yr old son....would love a copy of this book. This world could use a few more good men :).

  • Matt Wilson Says:

    We need more real men in America! We have to teach the next generation what it means to be a man.

  • Walker Says:

    Hi Sarah, you know it's never too early to teach him how to fold a pocket square.

    I'll be popping in and out if anyone has any questions for me. And my apologies that the book is unavailable for purchase on Amazon right now. (Due to some silly dispute with my publisher over something or other.) But there are plenty of other places to buy the book like BN.com, Borders, and a ton of great stores. There is a list of a few here... http://rulesformyunbornson.net/buy-the-book/

  • Maria Says:

    Love following the book's blog and Twitter! Any more books to come?!

  • Meha Says:

    I have been following Walker Lamond for a few months now on Twitter and his blog. I love reading the rules. Someday when I have kids of my own, I think I would love to use this book at a "guide." And like Walker said, "I think the fact that the rules speak to both girls and boys says more about how alike we are these days and how similar our standards are for men and women. That’s a good thing." Would love to have a copy of the book, and free is even better! :-)

  • JABrown Says:

    I love the idea of your book. I've seen sneak peeks here and there, can't wait to pick up a copy.

  • Mike Says:

    Fantastic concept. I'd love a copy of the book. Question for Walker: Which rule do you most frequently break? If you never break them, which rule(s) are you most frequently tempted to break? Thanks and I hope I win!

  • Eva Says:

    As a 19 year old female college freshman frustrated by the masses of disrespectful boys, I find myself more and more trying to teach my younger brother how to be a gentleman. He's a good kid, and most of the gentlemanly things come pretty naturally to him.

    My mom and I love the website and I'd definitely love to have the book to one day teach rules to my future son. There are definitely not enough good guys in the world.

  • Matt Says:

    Hey Walker. Congrats on the book - I follow your site regularly.

    My wife and I just welcomed our first born son 1 week ago today!

  • Claire Says:

    How do you feel about the copy cat sites like 1001 rules for my unborn daughter? And do some of your rules have a looser interpretation than others or are they set in stone?

  • Bruno Says:

    I'm wondering what the creative process for the Rules has been. When do the ideas come? Does Walker carry a notepad? Does he take suggestions from friends?

    Hope Walker keeps up the great work -- will be keeping my fingers crossed for a free book!

  • Walker Says:

    Maria, I hope there are many books to come...I just haven't thought of one yet! I have added more rules to the website that aren't in the book, so maybe a volume 2?

    JA, the rule I most frequently break? I definitely do not "read the good majority of a newspaper everyday." And I am too often tempted to recommend the restaurant closest to my house! But I'm doing pretty well on the other 400 or so rules.

  • Scott Says:

    I keep tabs on your blog every now and then; every time, I get good advice to spout off at my neighbors! =)

  • Walker Says:

    Matt, Mazel Tov! Hope you're getting some sleep.

    Claire, I welcome similar sites. Some seem a bit close for comfort, but generally I encourage anyone and everyone to start making their own lists of rules. It's a good exercise. And kids will appreciate knowing where you stand. And my book is merely part of a long tradition of instructional manuals for good living. Ben Franklin wrote one, so did Gen. Washington. I was only too happy to rip them off.

    Bruno, many of the rules came straight from my old man, and over the years I kept track of them the best I could. Then I started adding my own. They come fast and furious--especially at particularly trying times like in airports or a bad singles bar.

    And of course, I also welcome people's suggestions on my website. I get some great rules and occasionally they make it onto the site.

  • Livingstone Conant Says:

    Mr. Lamond,

    Thanks for taking the time to write the book. I enjoyed the interview. I look forward to reading the whole book! Thanks!


  • Jeanne Says:

    Hi everyone - and thanks Walker for responding to everyone's questions here! As Angella said, we knew your book would be a hit with our crowd and we really enjoyed reading "Rules". Between us here at Daily Grommet we have more than a dozen boys, so you certainly struck a chord with your down-to-earth, yet aspirational and fun ideas.

    And now to our winner ... Congratulations, Mike! Your name was randomly selected and we'll be sending along your free copy of "Rules for my Unborn Son" as soon as we hear back from you (check your email!).

    Please let us know if there's a new book, CD, or even a business or product that inspires you and we could feature it as a Grommet or here on our blog. Enjoy your Superbowl Sunday everyone!

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